Gigabyte reveals two Mini-ITX Ivy Bridge boards


— 6:00 AM on August 24, 2012

Add Gigabyte to the list of motherboard makers with Mini-ITX boards primed for Ivy Bridge. The company has posted pictures of two new models on its Facebook page. One is based on the Z77 Express chipset, while the other uses the H77. The Facebook post is short on details, but we can draw a few conclusions from the pictures. Behold the Z77N-WiFi:

As the name implies, this puppy has wireless networking built in. 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are provided by a tiny Intel adapter card that sits in a Mini PCI Express slot just above the CPU socket in the picture above. Below the socket, we can see a full-sized PCIe x16 slot just waiting for a discrete graphics card.

Like most Mini-ITX boards, the Z77N-WiFi cuts a few corners to squeeze into the restrictive Mini-ITX dimensions. Gigabyte uses only four of the Z77's Serial ATA ports, and the board is limited to a pair of DIMM slots. Unlike the notebook-style SO-DIMM slots found on some midget motherboards, the memory slots will accept desktop DIMMs.

With the exception of the name silk-screened on the board, the H77N-WiFi looks all but identical to the Z77N. Although the platform hub hiding under the heatsink is different, you don't lose much with the H77. The lack of support for dual-x8 multi-GPU configurations is moot given the board's single PCIe x16 slot. The H77 offers only limited multiplier control for overclockers, but the cramped nature of Mini-ITX enclosures is far from ideal for pushing clock speeds.

Otherwise, the H77N-WiFi looks well equipped. The rear port cluster is packed with a trio of digital display outputs in addition to dual Gigabit Ethernet jacks. Two USB 3.0 ports can be found at the rear, as well, and there's an onboard header for two more. Gigabyte also throws in a digital S/PDIF audio output to complement the analog jacks.

Unfortunately, there's no official word on availability and pricing. This early look at the boards suggests the Z77 and H77 variants will cost $140 and $120, respectively. They're supposed to be available in 2-3 weeks.

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